Thursday, August 23, 2012

Quotable Theonomy: Christian Unity, Compulsion, and the Sword of the State (Oliver Cromwell)

"Presbyterians, Independents, all have here the same spirit of faith and prayer: the same presence and answer; they agree here, have no names of difference: pity it is it should be otherwise anywhere! All that believe have the real unity, which is most glorious; because inward, and spiritual, in the Body [which is the true Church], and to the Head [which is Jesus Christ]. 

"For being united in forms, commonly called Uniformity, every Christian will, for peace-sake, study and do, as far as conscience will permit. And for brethren, in things of the mind we look for no compulsion, but that of light and reason. In other things, God hath put the sword in the Parliament's hands - for the terror of evil-doers, and the praise of them that do well. 

"If any plead exemption from that, - he knows not the Gospel: if any would wring that out of your hands, or steal it from you, under what pretence soever, I hope they shall do it without effect. That God may maintain it in your hands, and direct you in the use thereof, is the prayer of 

'Your humble servant,
"Oliver Cromwell."'"

--Oliver Cromwell, in a letter to William Lenthall, Speaker of the Commons House of Parliament

Cited in Merle D’Aubigne, The Protector: A Vindication (New York: Robert Carter, 1847), 57.


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